Ottawa must do more to address extremist infiltration of military, police: report – National

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The Canadian authorities must do more to perceive the size of extremist teams’ makes an attempt to recruit members from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and federal regulation enforcement, a parliamentary committee has concluded.

The House of Commons’ public security and nationwide safety committee additionally mentioned the federal authorities wants to “strengthen the internal mechanisms” within the CAF and the RCMP that “hold personnel of these agencies accountable when they are found to be supporting violent extremist movements.”

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The unsettling suggestions had been included within the committee’s report into the rising risk of “ideologically-motivated violent extremism” – Canada’s umbrella time period for a lot-proper and grievance-primarily based extremism – which has preoccupied the safety and intelligence group lately.

“IMVE groups are intent on enhancing their capacity for violence,” the report, launched Tuesday, learn.

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“Professor (Barbara) Perry said her research on the far-right’s efforts to infiltrate the Canadian Armed Forces uncovered instances of far-right group members enlisting in the CAF, often as reservists, to received training they can share with their group,” the report quotes Perry, one of Canada’s foremost specialists on far-proper extremism.


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“She said far-right groups also seek to recruit serving members of the military and veterans, the latter of whom may lack the kinds of social supports they had in the CAF and are ‘looking for a familiar place to belong.’”

Researchers and journalists masking the far-proper in Canada have for years warned about extremist makes an attempt to infiltrate each the army and the regulation enforcement group. But there may be little understanding in regards to the scale of the problem in Canada.

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Jessica Davis, the top of Insight Threat Intelligence and a former Canadian nationwide safety official, instructed the committee that an “imbalance of resources” within the safety and intelligence group has led ideologically-motivated extremists to have “a certain sense of impunity.”

Davis pointed to law enforcement officials who donated funds to the latest convoy protests in Ottawa and elsewhere.

“There’s been a real sense that a lot of these actors can get away with it, particularly because there is, to a certain extent, some radicalization in police and the military,” Davis instructed the committee.

“It creates a sense that they’re not going to face any consequences.”

Perry instructed the committee that far-proper extremist teams have seen an “incredible growth” in numbers since 2015, with upwards of 300 teams rising over seven years.


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Some teams have seized on COVID-19 conspiracy theories and opposition to public health measures comparable to vaccines and lockdowns as key recruiting and rallying instruments.

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“Constructing narratives that echo and exploit genuine societal anxieties and grievances has been key to the expansion of (ideologically-motivated violent extremism) in Canada,” the committee reported.

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“Witnesses agreed that (extremist) influencers have profited from the fear and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic … vulnerability factors such as social isolation, fear of the unknown and anxiety stemming from the pandemic caused some to adopt extreme views and solutions. Exploiting these vulnerability factors, (extremist) influencers have connected concerns over public health measures to the movement’s broader corpus of conspiracy theories.”

The committee beneficial that the federal government increase funding to precisely monitor hate crimes – that are believed to be underreported in Canada’s patchwork information assortment method – in addition to boosting the funding for weak teams to enhance safety measures of their group.

Police in provinces and territories must also obtain higher coaching on investigating ideologically-pushed extremism and hate crimes, together with help for provincial police on infiltrating hate teams, the committee mentioned.

The committee additionally urged taking a look at how hate and extremism is amplified on social media, and the way the federal government may address “harmful online content” whereas respecting Canadians’ Charter rights. The committee requested the federal government present a “comprehensive response” to their suggestions.

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